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Common Cold

Even in the 21st Century there is no magic cure for colds. Antibiotics do not work on viruses, which is why generally there isn't a lot the doctor can do when you have a simple cold. There are hundreds of cold viruses, that is why we can "catch a cold" frequently and why it is impossible to immunize against them.

As long as you take care of yourself and get plenty of rest before it goes into Bronchitis or Pneumonia a cold is usually merely annoying and generally harmless.

What causes a cold?

Colds are caused by various types of viruses which are spread from person to person when tiny mucus droplets in the air are passed by sneezing or coughing. Children tend to get colds more often than adults because they "forget" to cover their mouths, and don't have the same hang-ups about sharing things when they have the sniffles that adults tend to.

Note: Children who live with someone who smokes are known to develop more colds and coughs than average. This is because the smoke interferes with the natural defense against viruses. SO STOP SMOKING NOW!

What are the symptoms of a cold? (may have one or more of these symptoms)

  • Runny Nose
  • Sneezing
  • Watery Eyes
  • Fever
  • Tired
  • Cough
  • Sore Throat

How do you prevent a cold?

  • Avoid people who have a cold
  • Wash hands frequently
  • Keep your body warm so that it has the strength to fight infection
  • Eat healthy
  • Do not smoke

What are some options for treatment?

Generally there is really nothing you can do to treat a cold, you just have to wait it out. Get plenty of Vitamin C, eat healthy and get plenty of fluids and rest.

There are dozens of over the counter cold medicines. They do not treat the cold, but they can help relieve some of the annoying symptoms and give you a little bit of relief.

When should you seek medical advice?

  • a high temperature persists after 4 days
  • your fluid intake has declined or stopped
  • you have difficulty breathing or breathing is painful
  • you have rapid breathing
  • you wheeze when breathing
  • you have chest pains or persistent earache
  • you become drowsy

Old Wives Tales (Myths)

Were going to tackle a few of the common "myths" associated with the cold. (Sorry Mom!) If you'd like to learn more about these myths, click here to read more about each of them.

Bundle Up - 1/2 True!

"Put on a jacket or you'll catch your death!" A favorite among moms around the world. Going out in cold weather without jackets or warm clothing only allows your mucus membranes to dry out, which allows you to become more prone to letting the cold virus in. It doesn't guarantee you will get the cold at all! So bundling up and staying warm can help you fight the virus a little, but you can catch a cold with or without the jacket...

No Kissing On The Lips - False!

The human mouth generally stays disease free during colds, believe it or not! Rubbing noses, however, not recommended... Generally if you are going to catch someone's cold it will be from being in the same room and for sharing the same items and the same air for an extended amount of time. Even with all that, it depends on your bodies ability to fight off that particular virus.

Feed a Fever & Starve a Cold - False!

The best thing you can do for your body is drink, drink and drink some more... 100% Juices with vitamins and lots of water will be the best thing you can do for your body during a cold. Your body will tell you what you need when it comes to food. If its hungry and you feel like eating, do so! If you're not hungry and don't want to eat, than don't!